Focus Groups

What are focus groups?

Focus groups are a research method used to gather feedback, opinions, and insights from a group of individuals about a specific topic. It is one of UPSU Insight's commonly used methods to gather data from students.

Focus groups generally behave like a conversation between the attendees and the facilitator to gather opinions. Attendees may bounce ideas of each other and the facilitator may take notes or record the conversation to ensure all ideas are captured. It is a great way to gather in-depth data that could not be captured fully in surveys.

The main benefits of focus groups compared to other research methods are:

  • Focus groups can be adapted to various topics and research needs
  • Focus groups provide deep insights
  • The group dynamic of focus groups can stimulate ideas and discussions that might not emerge in 1-1 settings

Want to get involved?

If you are interested in upcoming focus groups, please complete this survey -

Previous Focus Groups

Here are some previous focus groups we have carried out to give you an idea on the kinds of subjects we cover:

PGM Students’ Experiences A focus group was run to investigate PGM students’ experiences on their course, and discuss any areas that they might be struggling in, to inform UPSU’s provision of support.
PGM Students’ views on the accessibility of the Library Another focus group was carried out in collaboration with the Library, where PGM students were asked about their experiences using the Library. This included being asked about their interactions with staff, the accessibility of the Library, whether they felt comfortable in the Library, among numerous other questions.
Personal Tutor Two focus groups were carried out to investigate students’ experiences with their personal tutor/ supervisors. Participants were asked about the level of support they received, and whether they were satisfied, among other things. The intention behind this was to provide further context to previous data gathered by UPSU Insights, as well as build on the answers to the Annual Survey, which contained a section about personal tutors.
Purple Wednesday The Purple Wednesday Focus Group was carried out, asking students about their experiences on the Purple Wednesday student night. Questions included the music played at Purple Wednesday, and whether they would make any changes to the format of the night out. Following this, the intention is to present these findings to our business partners involved in the running of Purple Wednesday, to discuss the results.
Moodle We ran a focus group to gather students' thoughts on the Moodle page, this was to make the site more user friendly and understand what students like and dislike about the site. We fed this back to the university for them to improve the Moodle site.
Student Engagement Dashboard We have run multiple focus groups on the University’s Student Engagement Dashboard. The purpose of the Student Engagement Dashboard is to make students more aware of their lecture attendance. The feedback from students in this focus group was fed back to the university to improve the Student Engagement Dashboard.
Future Events Focus Group We ran focus groups based off of the Hot Topic December 2023 survey on Future Events at UPSU. This included activities like creating your dream UPSU event. Themes from this focus group, along with the survey, were shared with the Student Opportunities team to inform them on planning for future events at the Students’ Union.
Placement Seeker Research We worked with UoP to run Faculty specific Focus Groups on Level 5 Students and their experiences with trying to find a placement year. This was to support the Careers and Employability Service in making the Placement seeking process easier for students.

Results from previous focus groups:


Activities in Focus Groups

Focus groups also include some fun activities! Here are some examples from previous focus groups:

  • Recreating Purple Wednesday based on what you would like to see
  • Imagining UPSU as a party guest
  • Imagining if your favourite brands were to take over UPSU
  • Creating a mood board
  • And of course, most of our focus groups are incentivised! :D 

Page created: Tue, 11 Jun 2024 13:39:24 GMT
Page updated: Tue, 09 Jul 2024 13:40:56 GMT

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